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"God is dead --Nietzsche, The Gay Science

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

freethought Blasphemy is the defamation of the name of one or more gods. These may include using sacred names as stress expletives without intention to pray or speak of sacred matters. Sometimes blasphemy is used loosely to mean any profane language, for example in "With much hammering and blasphemy, the locomotive's replacement spring was finally fitted."

In a broader sense, blasphemy is irreverence toward something considered sacred or inviolable. In this broader sense the term is used by Sir Francis Bacon in the Advancement of Learning, when he speaks of "blasphemy against learning".

Many cultures disapprove of speech or writing which defames the god or gods of their established religions, and these restrictions have the force of law in some countries.


The word "blasphemy" came via Middle English blasfemen and Old French blasfemer and Late Latin blasphemare from Greek βλασφημέω, from βλάπτω = "I injure" and φήμη = "reputation". From blasphemare also came Old French blasmer, from which English "blame" came.

See also

atheism, libertinism, anticlericalism, materialism, heresy, profanity, counterculture, *Apostasy

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Blasphemy" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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